Sail's Pedagogy

Sail's posts about her class, classes she is taking, and education.

Alexandra Samuel: Ten Reasons to Stop Apologizing for your Online Life

Alexandra Samuel argues that once we embrace our online lives as part of our real lives we will unlock the potential of the internet.
Alexandra Samuel is the Director of the Social + Interactive Media Centre at Emily Carr University, and the co-founder and principal of Social Signal, one of the world’s most experienced social media agencies.

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Kids and Virtual Worlds

When I bring someone new into Second Life or OpenSim, I first explain why. One of the things I show people is how many virtual worlds there are for kids, especially young kids. Kzero has statistics on this. Virtual Worlds is the future for these kids — so instead of Facebook, your kids or grandkids will be in one or more Virtual Worlds. They already are….

Mashable has a great article about Club Penguin.

“Club Penguin is all about creating a digital space where kids can play, participate in events and socialize. The site hosts regular contests, online meetups, “concerts,” digital events (like a site-wide sports tournament), and an official newspaper called “The Club Penguin Times” which is read by more than 1.1 million kids.”

Club Penguin like most virtual worlds is also educational. The game is in 5 languages so kids can actually learn another language and talk to other kids in another language. It is reported by Lane Merrifield that kids improve their typing, reading and writing skills. They can take care of pets (Puffles) that make them responsible and of course it improvestheir social skills. Plus the site donates $1 million to charity.

The site has a wiki, real products and several sites for cheats and hacks.

Visit Club Penguins Youtube channel or one of their multiple twitter sites.

Another online virtual game “Lego Universe” is apparently closing down. So the kids have started an Occupy Lego Universe site. They are calling for a day of action on New Years Eve.

Visit Occupy Lego Universe on Twitter.

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Letter to “The Chronicle of Higher Education”

The Chronicle of Higher Education just ask a question to their readers — “Who Are the Top Technology Innovators in Higher Education? And this is my response.

It is not just one person or one great teacher I am learning from nowadays. It is many. Through the Internet I have created my own personal learning network, I am creating, curating and collaborating with many though out the world. These skills should be taught to all students from middle school on. It should be a requirement in the first month of any university.

Learning to search properly is one of the most important things I have learned. Curation though following using RSS and even Yahoo Pipes others blogs and having their titles dumped into Netvibes so I can quickly find articles that interest me. I find so many interesting people and links to articles (some in scientific journals) though Twitter. But went use an article in my own blog, I also know who to cite it properly and give that person create for their works. It takes time to learn who to follow and who to believe. Howard Rheingold calls this “crap detection“.

I have been to conferences and watched them streamed live. Last week it was a SWSX like technology conference in France and another conference on Virtual Worlds. I have also watch live streaming of Occupy Wall Street. I have taking several MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses with thousands from all over the world lead by George Seimens and Stephen Downes. I just tried to take Artificial Intelligences course from Stanford with 120,00 others. I did not study as much math on Khan Academy YouTube videos that I need to and got lost. But I can take this again in the future or go back to YouTube and watch the lectures.

In Second Life, I have heard Clay Shirkey and Sir Ken Robinson talk. I have meet with libraries and other educators connected to real world organizations such as American Library Association and ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education). I have see how IBM and Cisco uses Virtual Worlds and to train their employees and get them to collaborate with each other. Tony O’Driscoll (from Duke) has a great book on this “Learning in 3D”.

I belong to an Alumi group of past Howard Rheingold’s students that is growing with people all over the world. We are co-learners — teaching each other. We reading books such Cathy Davidson’sNow You See It” (from Duke) and Douglas Rushkoff’sProgram or Be Programmed” — together and comment in a forum our thoughts and opinions. My co-learner and I meet twice weekly in either Adobe Connect or Google+ — not only learning from each other but also talking with a high school class, their teacher along with Roy Christopher about how they feel about classrooms and learning today. We even got Douglas Rushkoff to speak to our little group and Cathy Davidson is on our list.

And every Saturday afternoon I spend with TED, not a person, but short talks from some of the most inspirational and interesting people around the world. Just last week, I learned about the Knowmad’s movement. I am learning more than I have ever learned in my life. Learning is not just restricted to the classroom anymore. Anyone can create, curate and collaborate.

(Several Weeks later)
The Chronicle of Higher Education has picked their nominations, but at least did mention my post. I still think we need to find many people to learn from, whether on the web or in person. This is old fashions. We need to learn collaboration, we need to learn how to communicate with other in this new world, and to curate the web.


Networked Society ‘On the Brink’

What is the future?

“We are the last generation to grow up in a dumb society”

Great section on virtual worlds.

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Music and the brain…..”The music never stops”

Music has always be a very important part of my life. I also have been very interested in the brain, having a bachelors degree in psychology and my master thesis was on brain based learning. There are many new studies and books out about the music and the brain.

“While music can affect all of us—calm us, animate us, comfort us, thrill us, or serve to organize and synchronize us at work or play—it may be especially powerful and have great therapeutic potential for patients with a variety of neurological conditions. Such people may respond powerfully and specifically to music (and, sometimes, to little else). Some of these patients have widespread cortical problems, whether from strokes or Alzheimer’s or other causes of dementia; others have specific cortical syndromes— loss of language or movement functions, amnesias, or frontal-lobe syndromes. Some are retarded, some autistic; others have subcortical syndromes such as parkinsonism or other movement disorders. All of these conditions and many others can potentially respond to music and music therapy.” (Musicophilia)

Last night I watched a movie about music and brain. Based on a true story and an essay called “The Last Hippie” from a book by Oliver Sacks, MD. “The Music Never Stopped“. Beside being about how music can heal the brain, this is a great family story about the love between a father and a son. It is a flash back to the music and the social problems in the 60’s and 70’s.

Other great books about Music and the brain:
This is Your Brain On Music” by Daniel Levitin

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Open University in Second Life

“The Open University is a world leader in modern distance learning, the pioneer of teaching and learning methods which enable people to achieve their career and life goals studying at times and in places to suit them……We have 13 centres across the UK and Ireland. Their role is to organise the support for our 250,000 distance learning students”

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Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles”

Anyone on the internet should see this. Our internet searches are being filtered.

Rene Pickhardt has blogged about what he thinks the 57 signals google uses to filter search results. He has come up with 40, can you add to the list?

1. Our Search History.
2. Our location
3. the browser we use.
4. the browsers version
5. The computer we use
6. The language we use
7. the time we need to type in a query
8. the time we spend on the search result page
9. the time between selecting different results for the same query
10. our operating system
11. our operating systems version
12. the resolution of our computer screen
13. average amount of search requests per day
14. average amount of search requests per topic (to finish search)
15. distribution of search services we use (web / images / videos / real time / news / mobile)
16. average position of search results we click on
17. time of the day
18. current date
19. topics of ads we click on
20. frequency we click advertising
21. topics of adsense advertising we click while surfing other websites
22. frequency we click on adsense advertising on other websites
23. frequency of searches of domains on Google
24. use of or google toolbar
25. our age
26. our sex
27. use of “i feel lucky button”
28. do we use the enter key or mouse to send a search request
29. do we use keyboard shortcuts to navigate through search results
30. do we use advanced search commands (how often)
31. do we use igoogle (which widgets / topics)
32. where on the screen do we click besides the search results (how often)
33. where do we move the mouse and mark text in the search results
34. amount of typos while searching
35. how often do we use related search queries
36. how often do we use autosuggestion
37. how often do we use sepell correction
38. distribution of short / general queries vs. specific / long tail queries
39. which other google services do we use (gmail / youtube/ maps / picasa /….)
40. how often do we search for ourself

Just found some great tips and information on filter bubbles.

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Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds (FCVW)

This conference was very interesting. First you could go there, but it was could be seen free by anyone both in Second Life and in virtual worlds conference programs. Talks will also be archived. This conference is a combination of the military, educators, military contractors, creators, designers and programmers.

“The Information Resources Management College (iCollege) of the National Defense University established the Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds (FCVW) in July 2007. The consortium was created to explore multi-agency and intra- agency collaboration using the robust capabilities of virtual worlds, examining best practices across multiple sectors. The objective of the consortium is to help government agencies to share resources, training, and experience; leverage outreach capabilities and practices; connect to new partners and business opportunities; and demonstrate the benefits for virtual worlds’ collaborative capabilities.”

FCVW Tron Trailer from Eric Hackathorn on Vimeo.

There have been several blog posts about this conference and I will blog about them here. I found it interesting because of not only the combination of people, many with very opposing ideas, but you also learned about the different perceptions of what virtual worlds should be and be used for. The future was predicted in which there will be a combination of virtual worlds and argumented reality. And yes….even a virtual war just like on Star Trek.

Interesting Visuals by Botgirl

South Alabama Educators in Second Life – Day One

” A Marine (didn’t get his name) stated that he thought that collaborative learning in the virtual environment posed a security risk because people get in and start training and learning and they may learn things they’re not meant to learn which, to him, was a dangerous prospect. While I guess I can understand the concern, I think it still goes to show just how powerful a collaborative tool virtual worlds might be–if the scaffolding for learning can grow to actually push the participants ahead of what they’re supposed to know for their particular assigned role, that’s really powerful stuff.”

South Alabama Educators in Second Life – Day Two

I too was very surprised at some of the things Mr. DiGiovanni said… such as creating a open model (Amazon, etc.) of acquisition in for military products, technology is changing so fast, that getting locked into a contract without others being able to contribute is preventing innovation. And why not let others into some of the military simulations, even our enemies…..this would make them more real.

“Working for the Undersecretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness, Mr. DiGiovanni really seems to “get” the potentials for virtual worlds in training and simulation. However, he said that the current business models simply do not work for the way virtual environments would best be used. New business models need to be adopted and adapted for the current eCommerce world. ”

Federal News Radio

“Dr. Paulette Robinson, with the iCollege at the National Defense University, “foresees a day when virtual world technology will allow citizens to interact in a meaningful way with government agencies, enhancing openness and transparency – current watchwords of the Obama administration – but also allowing for a problem-solving interactivity in a virtual environment as well.”

Life at the Feeding Edge

“Ren Reynolds did point out when on our panel that we were having questions asked about identity and behaviour in virtual worlds, e.g. what about furries. He bravely pointed out (given we were at the National Defence University) that using virtual worlds and games to work out how to actually kill people more effectively was far more offensive than any roleplay elements or socially awkward situations.”

Second Thoughts

From one of the most controversial bloggers in Second Life…
“I’ll ask a question nobody wants to ask: everyone thinks all these war games like World of Warcraft and by extention all virtuality like Second Life, is just the cat’s pajamas for war preparation. We’ve heard a zillion times the game and virtuality company makers and their bought-and-paid-for academics like the ones from State of Play and Terra Nova that war games “build up good eye/hand coordination” or “they teach teamwork” blah blah. Well, um, do they?’

and finally… from Life at the Feeding Edge…. and yes, his posts are always this long.

“So there are even more people doing real work with the technology and the socially changing impacts of virtual worlds and related tech. It is not dead, it is not all Second Life (in fact increasingly it appears to not be Second Life for some very good reasons). However it is well on its way, and it is helping people. Kids are learning more, patients are being treated better, entertainment is more engaging. Standards and exemplars are being re-enforced and more new people are becoming evangelists. The previous generation and generations of activists in the field are also not going away but supporting everyone else too.”

Also, for you WOW fans, Imperium Procuratorum (IP). IP is a World of Warcraft guild on the Shadow Council (Alliance) server created as an adventuring home for people who work with government (civil servants, contractors, collaborators and consultants) and their family members.

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Graduation For The Cyber Space Generation – Masters of Education

Twenty-two University of Hawaii students met inside Diamond Head Crater for a commencement speech truly out of this world. The students received their Masters Degrees in Educational Technology in the virtual world of “Second Life”.

For more information about this Masters Degree in Second Life go to the University of Hawaii at Manoa

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10 keys to a successful training presentation

I recently had a job interview and I was told I did not have enough corporate training experience. I have been in education, in social media and virtual worlds. I thought the brain learned the same way. We do not distinguish between a classroom or a training room. Too often I am seeing Powerpoints being the main tool for online learning.

I gone though part of this simulation. It is fantastic.. I did smell smoke.. This was created by Firefighters themselves and is used to training and collaboration around the world.

Fire Department in Second Life

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